Study: Text-message reminders do not boost flu shots in pregnant women

NEW YORK — According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, text-message reminders do not increase the likelihood an expecting mother will receive a flu shot, Reuters reported this week.

In the study, "Improving Influenza Vaccination Rates in Pregnancy Through Text Messaging: A Randomized Controlled Trial," and appearing in the journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers sent weekly text messages to 158 pregnant women to take prenatal vitamins and to focus their diets on healthier, nutritious foods, but half of the women, who were mostly poor, black, uninsured and had previously declined to receive a flu shot, were also sent text-message reminders to get vaccinated.

Researchers found that despite the additional encouragement, only around 30% of women in either group received flu shots.

Other studies focused on the degree to which text messages can influence a person's medical behavior have shown positive results, like helping patients quit smoking and managing chronic health conditions Reuters points out. But it seems not all text messaging works.

"Text messaging may be effective in some contexts and not in others," lead study author Dr. Michelle Moniz, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told Reuters Health.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends all pregnant women get flu shots.

Login or Register to post a comment.